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Website Security: How To Protect Your Website In 5 Steps

A small data leak can have severe consequences for companies: loss of sales, damage to reputation, civil lawsuits. Many companies, especially online shops, enjoy numerous customers who entrust them with personal data and sometimes even account and credit card information. This data must be protected – because cyberattacks are an everyday problem in online business. The GDPR also imposes a duty of care on website operators: Sensitive user data must be adequately protected.

Open Systems Also For Hackers

The promise of many providers: With just a few clicks to your homepage. And, nowadays, you can publish your website without much programming effort within a short time. A wide variety of web applications are available on the market for blogs, shops or news sites. But the content management solutions, shop systems or forum software that are used also pose a significant security risk. Because “open source” not only means that the source code is freely available to all users, it is also an open system for hackers and other cybercriminals.

If you don’t want to use a content management system and still want to get to a website comfortably, you can use a website builder. As in a modular design, you can put together the individual elements without worrying about complex configurations. So you leave some security precautions to the provider. However, since experts deal with it here, you can concentrate on content and design confidently.

From Source Code To Credit Card Fraud

Over 35 percent of all websites on the Internet are based on the content management system WordPress. They can independently develop extensions, plugins, modules or templates and make them available to the community. This open-source approach is popular with users – not least because of the cost savings. But the popular CMS programs and their plugins are also popular with hackers targeting large, widespread systems.

Cybercriminals against cybersecurity find weaknesses in these systems and can thus cause considerable damage: For example, they gain access to sensitive customer data such as login data or payment information through phishing. Or they place trojans and viruses that website visitors download unnoticed via a so-called ” drive-by-download ” and use the website to spread spam. The viruses can cause server failures and so-called downtimes in the company itself – there is no turnover. 

The severe consequences of insufficient website security are:

  • data abuse
  • identity theft
  • lost sales
  • complain 

Five Tips For Better Website Security

A company should take various security precautions to make it as difficult as possible for hackers to do their criminal work. Below we list five simple actions that any business can take without investing time or money.

Make Sure It Is Up-To-Date

The Internet community is constantly developing open source solutions and is usually quick to identify bugs and security gaps and fix them even quicker. However, you only benefit from the community and the development team’s selected reaction if you continually keep your system updated. With many CMS solutions, updates can be automated using plugins. With the ” Easy-Update Manager ” for WordPress, you keep the popular system up to date and thus actively contribute to website security. Since plugins and other add-ons are independent programs, you must, of course, check them separately to ensure they are up-to-date.

But even if you have put together your website without the help of a CMS, you should make sure that the versions are up-to-date. PHP or MySQL, for example, should always be up to date to not present any open doors to attackers.

Regular Backups

Hackers gain access despite security precautions; they can cause considerable damage. Not only is data espionage and misuse common, but hackers also overwrite or delete entire databases to cover their tracks. All critical content should therefore be backed up regularly. This is a precautionary measure in two respects: Even with a standard update, individually adapted system files can sometimes be overwritten. Therefore, a regular backup of all data is a must for every company.

There are also tools for this precaution: There are various plugins for WordPress. Other CMS can also be equipped with appropriate extensions to facilitate a backup of the entire website. On the other hand, if you work without a CMS, you can manually save the server content externally or use a tool like resync.

Secure Login Data

Secure access data should be a matter of course. But in everyday life, things are different because the most popular password remains the number sequence “123456”. In addition, many users adopt user names suggested by the system, such as “Admin” or “Administrator” – in combination with weak passwords, an easy target for hackers. The following applies to user names and passwords: no exact words or simple, easily understandable combinations. A secure password requires a random character string and must be long enough.

Stay Informed

If you want to protect your website from hackers and other criminal cyber attacks, you should inform yourself regularly about current dangers and security gaps. The first point of contact is, of course, the respective community. There are countless website security threads on most forums. Potential security risks are usually the first to be identified there, discussed and ideally rectified immediately. To find out about system-independent risks, it is worth looking at the Federal Office for Information Security website, for example.

HTTPS And SSL Certificate

HTTPS secures the exchange of sensitive data. With the help of SSL (Secure Socket Layer), the data exchange between server and client is encrypted. This means that hackers cannot easily read or intercept the transmitted data. The certificate can be purchased on several websites. The certificate is included in the hosting web package with many hosting providers or is offered additional fees. Another plus: The visitor recognizes the website security certificate by the “lock symbol” in the browser and the HTTPS transport protocol – this creates trust with potential customers.

Also Read: Four IT Security Threats In 2022

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